[Now Voting!] Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: Ogawa Mimei: Collection of Children's Stories

  • Second volume of よつばと!: This is an all-around awesome beginner manga. The main disadvantage is that it would be harder for new people to join in; maybe there’s some reason they didn’t want to read it or maybe they just wouldn’t have time to catch up. We could do something like have a policy that every other book we read should be a new series.
  • チーズスイートホーム: This is the one other for-native-speakers thing I’ve read that’s easy like よつばと!. The cat mispronounces things; not hard to understand if you know the word but it makes it hard to look things up when you don’t. And sometimes too much of it is just pictures to feel like it’s really good Japanese practice. While it is cute and funny, I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as よつばと!and my copy didn’t survive the こんまりing so I’d probably sit this one out, but I think it deserves a place in a list of beginner manga.
  • ヒカルの碁: Next easiest thing on my shelf. Not quite as easy as よつばと!but still a relatively easy manga. I enjoy it. It was a pretty popular anime a while back, so for anyone who watched that with subtitles, it’s easy to follow the plot even if you don’t understand all the words.
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Also for the next poll, I’d recommend letting people pick any number of options, so they can vote for all the things that they would be happy to read.

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Another manga that seems relatively readable is ホリミヤ - it’s a sweet slice-of-life romance, and I think having more kanji and regular spelling might actually make it easier in some ways compared to よつばと!I don’t think there’s too much slang, but hopefully someone’s read the Japanese version and can comment.

チーズスイートホーム is super cute, but ITA it’s very illustration-heavy and the cat mispronounciations don’t help.

I’ve got two suggestions:

しろくまカフェ・ In my opinion, this is generally easier than よつばと!There are not as many slang terms and colloquialisms, except for a few sections where they go into some wordplay. These sections would be great learning tools to pick apart. Beautifully illustrated and great characters.

BAR ェモンハート・This is also pretty easy. Maybe roughly the level of よつばと!maybe slightly harder. It is a pretty funny drinking manga. A local drinking establishment (酒場)with an unusual cast of characters that come in as regulars. It is set up as a series of short stories of things that happen in the bar. Usually comical, interesting, and has a slice of life feel. I first heard about it in Japanese the Manga way, and then just recently picked up issue #1 on my kindle and read the two stories.

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Can I be added to the list? I’ve ordered the book before I even knew this existed but it hasn’t arrived yet. I can’t seem to edit but I’m guessing that’s because I’m new? I don’t know how this wooorks xd

I’d also like to be added to the list and join this book club! How will it work? A poll is posted soon, we all vote and go from there?

I’d also like to join this book club and start with the next book if that’s alright! I’ve been reading the posts on both pages and it sounds like a lot of fun.

@Kumirei 先輩, damn :heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes:

I added the new people too, but I’m still trying to figure out if there is a way to make the title column a bit wider.

@ezmine @eainge and @CryssiKat Kumirei added you :slight_smile:

Related to making the title column wider, no idea. I’m pretty much ignorant in this stuff. If someone can help @Kumirei, please do ^^

Btw, remove the “s” from “helps” (title) please. My mistake :sweat_smile:

I put a limit on it simply because if there wasn’t any, some people would end up voting for 4 books while others would only vote for 2 (example). I thought that wasn’t fair :man_shrugging: If people agree with not having a limit, I’m all for it! ^^

Alright, I found a way by using blank characters


Gdi, it worked in the preview, but they change blank characters to normal spaces in post processing, so it doesn’t display them.

I don’t see why that’s unfair. (1) people who vote for more are diluting their own votes (2) everyone gets to choose how many they vote for.

What I want to avoid is the situation of having to guess what the most popular thing that I want to read is so that I can vote for that rather than wasting my votes on unpopular things.

Every time people decide you can only vote for one thing I get so frustrated, because it’s just such a bad way of handling voting. Watch this and you will hopefully understand why.


This will have to do, haha

<th>Title<small><sub><sup><sup><sup><sup><sup><sub><sub><sub>thismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwider<this makes the column wider>


That’s a pretty interesting video, I’ve never thought about it like that!

For those of you who don’t get notifications when I edit the OP I added this at the very end

Proposed Books

List Manga
Titlethismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwider Synopsis Pitch Store Link
Volume 1
Yotsuba's daily life is full of adventure. She is energetic, curious, and a bit odd—odd enough to be called strange by her father as well as ignorant of many things that even a five-year-old should know. Because of this, the most ordinary experience can become an adventure for her. As the days progress, she makes new friends and shows those around her that every day can be enjoyable. Post Amazon
しろくまカフェ Comedy manga about the daily life of a polar bear that runs a cafe with 3 regulars: a panda, a koala, and a penguin. Post Amazon
干物妹! うまるちゃん
Himouto! Umaruchan
My little sister Umaru (16) is a renowned beautiful girl in the town. A perfect sister with a kind heart, high scores and popularity, who everybody admires... or at least that's what people believe, but once she walks in her room, she becomes... Post Amazon
ダース・ヴェイダーとプリンセス・レイア Post Amazon
Tsuredure Children
Wakabayashi Toshiya shows us a series of 4-koma manga depicting various scenarios of young love. These short stories range from a boy, crippled by his absolute lack of confidence in himself, cannot even accept the fact that the girl of his dreams actually asked him out on a date, to the near-psychotic girl that pours her own blood into her homemade chocolate in order to win his heart. Post Amazon
Volume 2
Yotsuba's daily life is full of adventure. She is energetic, curious, and a bit odd—odd enough to be called strange by her father as well as ignorant of many things that even a five-year-old should know. Because of this, the most ordinary experience can become an adventure for her. As the days progress, she makes new friends and shows those around her that every day can be enjoyable. Post Amazon
チーズスイートホーム One day, a small kitten named Chi is found by a young boy named Youhei and his mother. They bring her back to their house to live with them, but then decide to move to a new apartment to accommodate this new furry addition to the family. Chi, Youhei, and Youhei's parents cherish their time together as they make new friends, good memories, and have fun times together.

These short adventures revolve around the daily life of Chi and her family, in addition to the many friends that they make along the way. No matter what trouble Chi ends up getting into, she knows that her family will always love her!

Post Amazon
ヒカルの碁 After stumbling across a haunted Go board, irresponsible Hikaru Shindo discovers that the spirit of a master player has taken up residence in his consciousness. In his pursuit of the "Divine Move," Fujiwara-no-Sai awakens in Hikaru an untapped interest and genius for the game, and soon the schoolboy is chasing his own dream—defeating the famed Go prodigy Akira Touya! Post Amazon
ホリミヤ Although admired at school for her amiability and academic prowess, high school student Kyouko Hori has been hiding another side of her. With her parents often away from home due to work, Hori has to look after her younger brother and do the housework, leaving no chance to socialize away from school.

Meanwhile, Izumi Miyamura is seen as a brooding, glasses-wearing otaku. However, in reality, he is a gentle person inept at studying. Furthermore, he has nine piercings hidden behind his long hair and a tattoo along his back and left shoulder.

By sheer chance, Hori and Miyamura cross paths outside of school—neither looking as the other expects. These seemingly polar opposites become friends, sharing with each other a side they have never shown to anyone else.

Post Amazon
Barレモン・ハート The story centers on the titular bar, its bartender, and the two regular customers who drop by the bar. Every story focuses on a different character who will come to the bar to share his or her problems while drinking. Each story is a stand-alone story. Post Amazon

Titlethismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwiderthismakesthecolumnwider Synopsis Pitch Store Link
Mary and the Witch's Flower
It is Tib the black cat who leads Mary to the strange flower in the woods. When she discovers a little broomstick shortly afterwards, she is astonished to feel it jump into action. Before she can gather her wits, it is whisking her over the treetops, above the clouds, and into the grounds of Endor College, where: "All Examinations Coached for by A Competent Staff of Fully-Qualified Witches."

Here she discovers evidence of a terrible experiment in transformation—deformed and mutant animals imprisoned in cages. In the moment after her broomstick takes off, she realizes that Tib has been captured. Returning to the College the following day, she manages to free the animals, but not before the Head of the college, Miss Mumblechuuk, and her colleague, Doctor D, have seen her. Mary manages to flee…but the evil pair is in hot pursuit!

Post Amazon
マジック・ツリーハウス 第1巻恐竜の谷の大冒険 Meet Jack and Annie! Jack and his younger sister, Annie, are just regular kids. But when they discover a tree house in the woods, something magical happens. Jack and Annie are whisked back in time to the Age of Dinosaurs, a medieval castle, ancient pyramids, and treasure-seeking pirates. Every visit to the magic tree house leads to adventure! Post Amazon
Kiki's Delivery Service
"A lovely story that became a classic in Japan and a popular animated home video throughout North America."

Kiki is a resourceful, spunky girl who follows her maternal tradition to be a witch. She possesses only one gift of witchcraft – the power to fly. Like all young witches, she sets out at age 12 to find a town of her own. With her ever-present companion Jiji – a cynical and faithful black cat – Kiki departs on her broomstick and arrives at a big town near the ocean. Though nervous at first, she soon sets up a business delivering packages.

Kiki meets all kinds of people and has many adventures. She befriends the thief who stole her broomstick and saves the town’s traditional New Year’s marathon with some courageous and timely flying.

Throughout, Kiki’s confidence and self-awareness grows as she learns to value her unique talents. And with Kiki’s help, the townspeople realize that everyone has some “magic” that gives them their own special character and vitality.

This is a charming and delightful tale that is reminiscent of children’s favorites “The Worst Witch” by Jill Murphy and Astrid Lindgren’s “Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.” Black and white line drawings sprinkled throughout reveal the humor and warmth in everything Kiki does.

Post Amazon
こわくてたのしいおばけの話90 Post Amazon
(Scary Lessons)
The girl Yomi—a creature without legs—leads through a world of horror, which slumbers in the midst of everyday life and only lies in wait to pounce on the unsuspecting. Anyone who is foolish enough to engage in it terrible things will happening! Post Amazon
時をかける少女 Kazuko is a high school senior who has no idea what she wants to do in the future. Alone one day after school, she discovers a broken beaker in the science lab. She smells something sweet in the air, passes out, and finds herself transported back to her own past! Will Kazuko use her ability to travel through time wisely or selfishly? Post Amazon

Is there already a poll somewhere?

No, not yet. We’ve just started talking about choosing the next book so we’ll probably make one soon after people have had a bit more time to make their pitches.

Hi everyone,

I just saw this thread today and think it’s a great idea! Do you think you can add me for Yotsubato?

The only problem is that I don’t own the book and will need to catch up to where you guys are. ( I could just wait for book 2 as well).